STARKE (CBSMiami) – As Juan Carlos Chavez, the convicted killer of 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce, awaited his scheduled execution at Florida State Prison, he had a detailed schedule that he followed Wednesday morning and afternoon.
Chavez awoke for a final time Wednesday morning in a special 12×7 foot cell that is reserved for those on the brink of execution. He was served his final meal at 10 a.m.
Chavez’s final meal was: ribeye steak, french fries, a fruit plate with banana and papaya, strawberry ice cream, and mango juice.
The convicted killer was allowed to take a final shower and then he was issued the final outfit he would ever wear, a t-shirt and pair of pants.
Wednesday evening, prison vans picked up the official witnesses of the execution. Among the witnesses was Don Ryce, the father of the murdered boy Jimmy Ryce. In addition Ted Ryce, Jimmy’s brother was also a witness along with CBS4’s Gary Nelson.
Thirty minutes before the scheduled execution, approximately 5:30 p.m., the warden at Florida State Prison read Chavez the death warrant issued by Governor Rick Scott. After that, Chavez was walked down a short hall to the execution chamber where he was strapped from head to foot to his death bed.
Shortly thereafter technicians, who don’t have to be doctors or nurses, inserted IV’s into both of Chavez’s arms. Two IV’s are used in case the first IV malfunctions, a backup is already in place.
A curtain was then opened to expose the death chamber to about 35 witnesses sitting in rows of chairs. A total of 10 reporters, including CBS4’s Nelson, was sitting in the back row.
A microphone was turned on inside the death chamber just long enough for Chavez to make a final statement.
After that, an anonymous executioner–who is paid $150–pushed the plungers on a half-dozen syringes. A backup executioner was present in the death chamber in case the first person falls ill or gets cold feet before the execution.
The first drug to pass into Chavez’s veins was the anesthesia drug Midazolam Hydrochloride. Midazloam became the first drug in the cocktail after the makers of the previously used drug, pentobarbital, bowed to international pressure and stopped selling it for executions.
Chavez received approximately 500 milligrams of Midazolam when the plunger was pushed. The dosage given to the convicted killer will be 50 times the recommended dose of the drug. The Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Courts have rejected challenges to the new drug.
He then receives a second shot that causes paralysis. A third and final shot was administered stopped his heart. A doctor on scene pronounced Chavez dead at 8:17 PM.
Once the doctor pronounced Chavez dead, the curtain that exposed the death chamber to the witnesses closed and the final chapter in the life of the convicted murderer of Jimmy Ryce was concluded.